COVID-19 variants have been identified in two Tri-Cities schools

École Maple Creek Middle School in Coquitlam and Archbishop Carney Regional in Port Coquitlam have each detected one case of a COVID-19 variant

Good Morning! It’s Morgan again. One thing you should probably know about me is that there is nothing in this world I love more than free stuff. So I hope you’re as excited as I am when I tell you that we are beginning to introduce contests! Keep reading to find out how you could win $75 to a local brunch spot.

Port Moody is looking into its current procedures on handling protests. Last week, city councillors agreed to refund a $900 fine to workers striking against unfair labour practices. 

The lowdown: The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers represents people working in a variety of different industries. The Local 213 division represents employees who work at Ledcor telecommunications company. The employees began picketing in 2019 in Port Coquitlam and cited job cuts and Ledcor’s failure to follow through on contractual agreements. The protests eventually moved to Port Moody where employees were fined $900 for protesting on public property. 

Our constitutional rights: The fee was refunded due to possible infringements on an employee’s right to protest. Port Moody’s mayor stated that enacting this fee against striking workers was a violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights. 

Protesting in a pandemic: Local and global protests have been covered extensively in the news since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. There has been debate on what exactly can be considered a safe protest during the pandemic.

Last week we wrote the concerns parents had with the  U.K. COVID-19 variant hitting Tri-Cities schools. École Maple Creek Middle School in Coquitlam and Archbishop Carney Regional in Port Coquitlam have each detected one case of a COVID-19 variant. The specific variant strain is yet to be identified. 

Further instruction: The parents of both schools were sent a letter home informing them of a case being detected. The letter stated that the students in question were ordered to isolate. Both schools are  still waiting on further instruction from Fraser Health.  

The big picture: The number of variant cases is continuing to increase throughout the province of BC. The genetic codes for viruses change over time so mutations can be expected.

The Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of B.C. (FPSE) is advocating equal pay for staff members at post-secondary institutions. Contracted faculty make up to 80% less than their salaried colleagues. 

Most affected: Women and people of colour are more likely to be subjected to pay inequality. BC is one of four provinces that doesn’t have pay equity legislation. This means that employers are under no obligation to provide equal pay for equal work. FPSE is calling on legislators to enact mandatory equal pay. 

Proper compensation: Douglas College has campuses located in New Westminster and Coquitlam. Douglas College has a Total Compensation Policy that aims to provide employees equal pay for equal work. 

  • Douglas College: “Douglas College understands that its continued success in delivering reliable, high-quality education at a reasonable cost hinges on the quality and commitment of its employees.”

Happening Around Town

  • Taste of the Tri-Cities: From now until March 19 restaurants across the Tri-Cities area are being showcased for a local food festival. Check out our featured restaurant down below. 
  • Life Hacks: Tomorrow at 1:00 PM the Coquitlam Library will be going live on Facebook to share a few helpful tips on productivity and wellbeing. 
  • Authentically Connecting for Entrepreneurs: Tomorrow at 9:30 AM Happy Healthy Women is hosting a virtual networking event for women entrepreneurs to connect with each other. Tickets start at $11.62. 
  • Online Cooking Class: This Saturday at 11 AM Port Moody culinary companies Eden West Gourmet and Tartine & Maple will be hosting an online breadmaking class. Learn how to make delicious desserts, bread, buns, and pizza dough! Tickets start at $34.48. 

In Other News

Local news that matters to you

No one covers the Tri-Cities like we do. But we need your help to keep our community journalism sustainable.

  • Port Coquitlam is planning on making changes to address catalytic converter theft in the area. Current legislation allows for scrap metal dealers to purchase and sell the high-value car parts. 
  • BC Ferries announced cheaper rates and is making it more accessible to purchase a ticket in advance. 
  • After spending $1.8-million on property tax refunds last year, the city of Coquitlam is calling for a review of the current system that handles assessment appeals. 
  • Due to the effectiveness of the initial dose of the COVID-19 vaccines, BC may not have to wait for a second dose in order to loosen restrictions.

One More Thing

Have you received your postcard in the mail yet? Canada Post is sending one prepaid postcard to every household across the country. The postcards are a part of a campaign called Write Here Write Now. The purpose of this campaign is to encourage Canadians to connect safely with one another. Don’t know what to write on your postcard? Here are a few ideas!: 

  • Write a nice message to your friends or family
  • Share your favourite recipe
  • Write down lyrics to your favourite song
  • Include a quote that speaks with you
  • Not much of a writer? Try drawing a picture instead

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